It was champagne shower yet again for Malaysia's Afiq Ikhwan Yazid. The 19-year-old Meritus.GP driver maintained a clean line to complete a sweet double in an incident-filled 12th round of the JK Racing Asia Series, the support race of the 2011 F-1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit here on Sunday.
For Ikhwan it was his sixth successive race win. Obviously, he was soaked in joy. “I enjoyed a good start. And, that's what I always longed for. Once I was out of the blocks clean I knew I could always win. But the safety cars coming out for the second day in a trot brought down my concentration levels,” said Ikhwan, who runs a go-karting team (AI Motorsports) back in his hometown.
Championship leader Lucas Auer did not enjoy as much as Ikhwan. The former, who finished behind Ikhwan on Saturday, damaged the front wing of his car going through the first corner of the opening lap.
In fact, that stalled his chances of challenging Ikhwan. But the Euro international driver, despite the great difficulty and getting into the pits, went on to complete a creditable ninth and along with it posted the fastest lap timing of 2:22.258s.
With Auer struggling early one expected Ikhwan to race through with comfort. But that was not the case as Nabil Jeffri, also from Malaysia, challenged him for most part.
“He is a good driver, I was aware of that but it is just that I kept moving forward,” said Ikhwan.
Ikhwan narrows gap
With two wins in the space of two days, Ikhwan has managed to narrow the gap in the championship table. It is just nine points that separate Ikhwan from Auer.
“It's too early to talk about that as we still have six more races to go.
“I want to keep pushing hard and eventually clinch a GP2 drive that comes along with the title,” added Ikhwan.
Petronas Motor Racing Jeffri, who wrested the third slot on Saturday, was pleased on having improved his position.
“I was not comfortable with my car but I am happy that I still managed to turnaround my chances today.”
D. Padayachee, representing team Eurasia Motorsport, enjoyed the honour of sharing the podium with both Ikhwan and Jeffri.
“I have been waiting long for this day,” said Padayachee, the driver with the Indian touch.
Padayachee is a twice Australian karting champion. His grandparents are from Kerala and he wants to prove a point when the series resumes at the Buddh International circuit during the inaugural Indian GP next month.
India's Raj Bharath, who lost control of his car on Saturday, returned strongly to finish a creditable seventh.
The results: 1. Afiq Ikhwan Yazid (Meritus.GP) 27:10.178s; 2. Nabil Jeffri (Petronas Motor Racing) 27:11.121; 3. D. Padayachee (Eurasia Motorsport) 27:14.204.